“Tiger Therapy,” the acclaimed and insightful podcast produced by organizational knowledge infrastructure solution Tigerhall, welcomes disability rights activist, New York Times bestselling author, and Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver to share about the power that including and valuing all people has to change the world.
Shriver unpacks the history of the Special Olympics and the unique and powerful way it evolved from the love and compassion that his mother had for her sister Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. He explains Special Olympics is a movement that provides opportunities to those who would normally be overlooked, humiliated, or rejected.
“Everyone has a gift and we should create an environment in which every gift is valued,” Shriver explains. “Our primary hope and dream is to bring people into contact with one another so that we can see each other with dignity, so we can see that everyone has a gift.”
Shriver also explains how the impact of the Special Olympics goes far beyond those who compete in the events it facilitates. He shares intimate accounts of how the power of Special Olympics affects those who come alongside the organization to serve its athletes.
“I’d say almost invariably volunteers say to me they came in order to help, but they left being helped, being healed, being changed, being transformed by the experience,” Shriver shares. “This is a movement for disability rights. It’s a movement for sports. It’s a movement for inclusion. It’s a movement for social change. But mostly, at the deepest level for me, it’s a movement to open up our hearts.”
Shriver shares an insightful perspective on the DEI landscape and the reason that those with intellectual disability seem to be left out of the conversation. He says he believes businesses do themselves a disservice by failing to see the value those with intellectual disabilities can bring to the workplace.
“I have never met an employer who made the commitment to including people with intellectual disabilities who didn’t say it was one of the most important things they did with their careers, with their companies, and with their work at the workplace,” Shriver shares. “In the DEI conversation, too frequently, almost, I should dare say, almost invariably, people with intellectual developmental challenges, they’re missing from the room. We got to get them in the room.”
The heart of Tiger Therapy is exploring self-doubt and limiting beliefs, which is a topic Shriver writes about in his bestselling memoir “Fully Alive.” The book explores what it was like growing up in a family of famous people, including an uncle — John F. Kennedy — who was elected President of the United States.
“I grew up in a context in which there were enormously gifted people all around me,” Shriver says. “And by any measure, by any generous measure, value was accorded more generously to those who brought more success.”
Shriver encourages those who struggle with comparing themselves to others and feeling like they do not measure up to embrace the gift of humility. He credits his work with Special Olympics for showing him how meaningless the comparison game is.
“All of the religious traditions remind us that, in some sense, awareness of one’s weaknesses is the path to one’s strength,” Shriver says. “Sometimes, a deeper understanding of where we fall short enables us to look for help, trust others, join a larger flow, give oneself a little bit of a pass, [and] not hold so tightly to one’s weaknesses. These things like self-doubt can help, if you will, metabolize some of these emotions and transform them into a deeper peace and a deeper, I would almost say, capacity for love.”
To listen to Shrivers’s episode of “Tiger Therapy” and learn more about the podcast, visit https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tiger-therapy/id1713333944.
Timothy Shriver is the Chairman of Special Olympics, and in that capacity, he serves 4 million Special Olympics athletes and their families in 170 countries. He has helped transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on acceptance, inclusion, and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe. Shriver is a social leader, educator, activist, film producer, and business entrepreneur.
Tigerhall is a knowledge infrastructure solution where subscribers can access bite-sized business-related content from top experts in their fields. The platform contains over 1,300 pieces of content in the form of podcasts, live streams, courses, and more. Tigerhall’s goal is to make professional development and business education affordable, and level the playing field for people to succeed in business despite outside circumstances, background, or financial situations. In the midst of a recession, and on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tigerhall is making business education affordable and easily accessible. They are pioneering social learning, and changing how businesses engage in professional development. Leading clients include Spotify, HP, and Cisco.
Pippa Woodhead, Head of Podcasts at Tigerhall, has had her fair share of imposter syndrome moments in her career. This struggle inspired her to create “Tiger Therapy.” Originally from the UK, Pippa has lived in India and Thailand, and now proudly calls Singapore her home. During her five years at Tigerhall, Pippa conducted over 800 interviews with exceptional figures in the business world, including Fortune 500 executives, workplace happiness experts, neuroscientists, and Olympic medalists. She discovered that great leaders are often highly self-aware, recognize their own limiting beliefs, and know when to heed self-doubt as a valuable message — and when to push past it. Through these insightful podcast conversations, Pippa learned a lot about herself, and the medium itself became her form of therapy. With “Tiger Therapy,” she aims to engage in meaningful conversations, explore people’s career journeys, discover more about herself, and share some laughs along the way.